GlennWatson on April 04, 2011, 08:48:21 pm
Don't you mean "whom's" ox?

SandySandfort on April 04, 2011, 11:43:50 pm
Don't you mean "whom's" ox?

Nope. I mean "whose," which is the correct possessive form of both who and whom. There is no such thing as "whom's" in standard English. Look it up. Anyway, nice try, but now it's even clearer, you don't teach English (at least I hope not!).

Here's just a little personal observation and a bit of advice. You, GlennWatson/WatsonGlenn/and probably some other handles, have been kicked off numerous lists, presumably for not playing well with others. You have taken numerous swipes at me and others on the Forum. All well and good, but I find it interesting that you are so thin-skinned when you are the subject of  the kidding. Apparently, you can dish it out, but you can't take it. Relax; no one is attacking you. I respect most of your posts.

J Thomas on April 05, 2011, 07:28:34 am
....

Thus while healthy living can help us dodge a few bullets, it cannot significantly extend the end of life.

This is probably true. There are cave organisms which live a very long time, probably because they are in an environment where they don't have to adapt much to environmental changes of any sort, and they spend a whole lot of time just waiting for something to happen. So maybe they just plain don't get a lot of wear-and-tear. This is not the way I'd want to live a long life. On the other hand, why put up with a whole lot of bodily stress that you don't need to?

Quote
Further, as we learn more and more about genes, we mostly learn that we understand the human body less than we thought we did, that its complexity may well make it incomprehensible.

It kind of looks like it's heading that way now. But we might get a few great insights which makes sense of a whole lot of it. We can't predict now what we will be capable of after that happens.

Quote
We could, however, produce people, a next generation, that is very long lived, because there seem to be lots and lots of genes that significantly extend people's lives, which truly slow aging, or which fail to shorten their lives, and any one centenarian only has a small number of such genes.  Someone who had lots of such genes might well live for centuries.

May be. I would tend to expect that to be a process of iterative refinement that slowed down over time. You might not find out about the unexpected problems from living past 120 until you get some 120-year-olds to study. So you come up with candidate genes to test which might fix those problems, and it takes say 120 years to find out how well they really work. Then it takes 140 years to find out about the special problems of living to 140, and another 140 years to find out how well your fixes work for those problems. Etc.

But maybe we could find ways to do good testing faster. Or, if we got time travel....

J Thomas on April 05, 2011, 08:17:41 am
I stand by my opinion -- we're talking about future technology and future science. It might come out as they say, or it might not.

Okay, but your opinion is just that. For a small sample of the research and things being done right now, read:

   https://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/12f1da903827ef43

I was not able to read that. Can others?

NeitherRuleNorBeRuled on April 05, 2011, 08:20:57 am
Okay, but your opinion is just that. For a small sample of the research and things being done right now, read:

   https://mail.google.com/mail/#inbox/12f1da903827ef43


Sandy,

This is a link, presumably, to (or through) your personal Google mailbox, which is useful only to you, a few Google employees, and the NSA.  Would you mind providing a generally useful link?

Thanks.

spudit on April 05, 2011, 09:49:20 am
Here's a concept which could make medical improvements develop as fast as electronics have. Call it correction box. It knows what should be going on in the body and keeps fixing it second by second. Too many fatigue poisons, fix it, liver cells dividing wrong, fix it, on and on. While we're at it let them interface and accelerate the learning curve.

Yes, the potential for abuse is huge.

I'd breadboard up a whole room, hell a building full of stuff, a box for each of a thousand basic functions. Then I'd get to tweaking. What interferes with what, what can be combined, what should be added. I'd be shrinking the equipment as it is defined from desk top to chip. That part taps into what we know already. Get it down to a fridge sized machine that'll fit in an intensive care unit and keep going. Some day get one small enough to wear or implant.

It is mass produced and easily customized and upgraded. Then load Windows on it, the Human Race crashes and goes extinct.

Hmm. Maybe not that last part though. 
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 11:51:46 am by spudit »
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Holt on April 05, 2011, 11:55:49 am
It's a lot like fusion as a power source. We can sort of take stabs at it but it's one of those things that is always "twenty years away". It's not something that the capitalist industrial approach to science will ever really be able to solve. It'll take one crazy bastard having a sudden moment of genius/insanity. Problem is that if he did do it then no one would ever believe it because it wasn't a big corp or national lab that came up with it.

So all those thinking "twenty years from now we'll all be immortal fuck yeah" don't bother. Not gonna happen. Also if we do end up immortal imagine our world but worse. Imagine the baby boomers immortal and never having to give up their positions in business and government. My generation is already pretty fucked because they're not doing that. Imagine it never changing. We'd end up with massive civil war as the younger generations got sick of it, inevitably resulting in a new government being formed which has mandatory death upon reaching a certain age.

spudit on April 05, 2011, 12:04:51 pm
It seems like the very very old are fragile, all out of backups, the bailing wire and duct tape is about shot, look at them wrong and they break.

It seems like they get that old by luck, attitude and by having spare capacity. So they carry on well above the functional minimum despite having a fraction of what they started with. OK duplicate that, give everyone extra capacity, dunno how though. maybe shoot them up with stem cells set on liver, kidney, immune system, heart muscle. They are fruitful and multiply and the parts get robust as can be, then they don't break as completly as often. Not younger though, just stronger and more able to handle all that slings and arrows crap.
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spudit on April 05, 2011, 12:10:00 pm
Good to have you back Holt.

Me, at 52, that old age and treachery tee shirt is looking pretty good about now.
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Holt on April 05, 2011, 12:14:53 pm
Meh dunno why I keep coming back. I think I'm a masochist.

spudit on April 05, 2011, 12:43:40 pm
Good, admiting it the first step to a cure.
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Holt on April 05, 2011, 12:47:05 pm
Curing it would result in me deciding not to help a friend with his insane plan for changing this country's political system. Sides if I'm a masochist that means I must like it

quadibloc on April 05, 2011, 12:51:46 pm
Also if we do end up immortal imagine our world but worse. Imagine the baby boomers immortal and never having to give up their positions in business and government. My generation is already pretty fracked because they're not doing that. Imagine it never changing. We'd end up with massive civil war as the younger generations got sick of it, inevitably resulting in a new government being formed which has mandatory death upon reaching a certain age.
That depends on the younger generation not wanting immortality for itself.

They certainly will demand better employment opportunities, but the response to that can be an expanding economy instead of compulsory retirement - which would have to be death, given that one can't expect to be supported by others for 99.99999% of one's life.

On a finite Earth, with a finite maximum number of people (which may increase from time to time as we get technological advances, but they can't be relied upon, not coming according to schedule), though, the idea that all the privates become generals, in effect, as they gain seniority, obviously has problems. If you don't have a conveyor belt, as it were, then most people won't get the chance to move up even one layer from the bottom of the pyramid - because it is an economic given that the bottom is wider than the top.

But the obvious solution is to put machines at the bottom and humans at the top. And since lots of people don't have much capital, and can't accumulate much at the bottom of the pyramid, this will pretty much have to be socialistic. Still beats mass slaughter.

spudit on April 05, 2011, 12:52:22 pm
Welcome to the club, Holt.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2011, 12:56:13 pm by spudit »
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Holt on April 05, 2011, 12:59:07 pm
You're assuming the older generations will settle for that considering it would deny them their place at the top or bring competition to their dominance in.
Getting offworld might work but again older generations don't have much of a desire for that. They've already got their big houses, vast wealth, hot and cold running women, etc.

Immortality becomes possible and we have to leave the Earth. Or set a legal limit on age.